Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dumb Design

Badly Designed Home
In our last Green Communities class we were asked to blog about dumb design. It was easy to think of things that were considered "dumb design," however, difficult to think of something interesting to write about. After racking my brain for some time, I sort of gave up. This morning, I got in a dumb design and drove to the Frontrunner station. Sitting on the train I looked out over the fields and mountains trying to come up with something. That is when it hit me, the dumb design I choose to write about is our homes.

suburban home
The thing that brought this to my attention was the front door. In most homes it is placed smack dab in the center. Why? It isn't for symmetry, nor is it for convenience for the owners of the home. Most people drive, and even if they ride their bike it is stored in the garage or near the driveway, why not put it closer to that?

The next thing I thought about was storage, that is to say dressers and closets drawers etc. If we spend so much money for homes when we buy them why aren't they built with better closets and storage already built in? Why do we have to turn around and by dressers and other things that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to add to it all? If we are already going to spend the money on the home why isn't it built more with the user in mind? One potential answer is people like rearranging things and would rather be able to move things for a fresh look to their home. I get that and think it is a valid argument. There still are other storage pieces I wish homes were naturally built with, especially in the garage.

toilet flush
As I continued to think about how many inefficiencies our houses have, I thought about water usage. Water from our toilet is "flushed away," water from our sinks go down the drain away from our sight, water from the shower washes away dirt then also down the drain away from our sight, why isn't any of this water reused in the home? Why doesn't it come out at a more conservation minded flow?

Questions to think about:
Why aren't homes built with better natural insulation right off the bat? Why do we rely some much on electricity and not as much on natural light? Why haven't we put more time and laws into place that force us to use more sustainable energy? Why in school, were we taught that it doesn't cost that much for electricity so it doesn't really matter if we leave the lights on? How have we come to the point where every "waste" goes away from us into someone else's backyard? Why aren't we made more aware of what our waste truly does? Why hasn't recycling been made standardized in our homes, and cities? Why are doors usually made to swing out? Why do we build our homes the way that we do?

Sustainability News

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I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.